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cook*create*read: Review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Published by Tinder Press, 9 October 2014
First Published 2011
Copy received for review from the publisher via bookbridgr.com

Read more about the author:  Eowyn Ivey official site

Alaska, the 1920s.  Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before.  When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding - is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?

Pulitzer Prize Finalist
Sunday Times Bestseller

Set in the 1920s, this book is just about as far from the decadent, glamorous 1920s of my imagination as it is possible to get.  A retelling of an old Russian fairytale, this is spellbindingly atmospheric.  The descriptions of the bleakly beautiful Alaskan countryside are mesmerising, and the hard labour involved in working the land is vividly brought to life. The characters are so wonderfully drawn, with their own quirks and personalities, and I wanted to meet each and every one of them in real life!  My favourite character was the wonderful, no-nonsense Esther who comes bustling into Mabel's life and opens her eyes to a whole new way of living.

Ivey's writing throughout the book is poetic and beautiful.  She tackles the themes of grief and loss in a sensitive and realistic way, countering this with hope and love in many forms.  There is a subtle magical thread throughout the book, lifting the story with fairytale qualities from what could otherwise have been really sad and quite depressing.  But Ivey makes this a wonderful, uplifting and hopeful book that is well deserving of its Pulitzer Prize Finalist tag.  4 stars

This book will shortly be re-published with a gorgeous new cover (seen above) which I think matches the writing within gorgeously.

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